Machu Picchu, Agriculture, IFTTT, More: Saturday Buzz, December 5th, 2015


The ruins of Machu Picchu are now on Google Street View. “After virtually touring these sacred and ceremonial spaces, discover more Wonders of Machu Picchu on the Google Cultural Institute. You can explore more than 130 Inca artifacts online thanks to the Museo Macchupicchu at Casa Concha. In three new online exhibits, the museum’s curators share their expert insights on the Inca’s daily life and rituals—which are still a subject of great mystery and fascination over 500 years later. ”

Farmers! Landowners! People who just want to get some details on the dirt their houses sit on! Check out This new tool from the University of Missouri extension. “The Ag Site Assessment Tool, developed by University of Missouri Extension, integrates information from multiple sources into a report describing physical, cultural and environmental characteristics of a piece of land.” Draw an outline of a parcel of land less than 10,000 acres and you’ll get a report. I tried it on some land here in North Carolina and it worked fine. There was a little weirdness (it complains if you overlap the outline you draw, and apparently here in central NC I have to be concerned about an endangered clam) but I got information about my soil, population in the area, hydrology characteristics, etc.


IFTTT (yay!) and Comcast (Boo!) are getting together. “The pair have teamed up to let you to send a variety of notifications, from Gmail to Pinterest to LinkedIn, to your television via Comcast’s X1, its answer to smart TV set-top boxes such as Roku and Apple TV.”

Google has launched a Cardboard Camera app. Looks like it’s Android-only. “Taking a VR picture is simple enough, take out the smartphone and move it around in a circle when taking the photo. When the phone is later placed inside a Google Cardboard viewer you’ll get to see it as a VR photos, allowing you to relive memories in a very immersive environment.”

An airport in Turkey is now available on Google Street View. “Istanbul Atatürk Airport is now accessible in the virtual world by Google Street View under the guidance of TAV Information Technologies.”

Chrome for Android is going to accommodate slower mobile bandwidth speeds. “Google announced on Google+ that the Chrome app for Android will now detect your bandwidth speed on your device and if it is slow, it will first load the web site without the images and then load in the images after the fact.”

Facebook is making another tweak to its news feed. “This time, the social network is making adjustments to make it easier for people to ignore certain types of viral posts that may appear in their feeds.”


Twitter is apparently trying to trademark the word “subtweet”. Bleh. “Used colloquially, the word refers to a tweet that refers to a specific person without using that person’s twitter handle. The term has been in public use since at least 2013, and does not appear to have originated with employees of Twitter Inc…”

Russian Wikipedia has suspended an editor who apparently organized a meeting with Russian authorities about Wikipedia editing. “A representative of media watchdog Roskomnadzor said earlier on Friday that four Wikipedia editors had met with representatives of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor and Roskomnadzor to formalize channels of communication between the website and state bodies.”


A newly-discovered malvertising attack goes through Twitter. “If the client IP address is known, clicking on that opens a fake video on YouTube. If it is unknown, a scam adult social network is opened instead. The user is then prompted to install a Chrome Extension to called Mapi Geni. A webinject is downloaded, and when a user logs in it sends credentials to a remote server.”

More wearables: Microsoft has gotten a patent for wearables that respond to sound. “Incorporating a microphone, the device – which doesn’t have a touch screen – will enable you to scratch the arm of say the family room leather chair with that unique sound wave controlling the change of channels or audio on your TV.” Or I’ll just attach one to the cat, point her toward the arm of her favorite scratching couch, and call it performance art.


Hey! Twitter might be able to help you lose weight. “Private Twitter weight-loss groups are a feasible, effective and acceptable way to provide an alternative means of life intervention counseling to people who are social media users, according to research by UMass Medical School behavioral and quantitative health experts.” Good morning, Internet…

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